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  1. #1
    Lounger
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    Won't close down (XP Home SR-1 Spanish)

    Windows has stopped closing down completely. I have a new ATX machine, and Windows has stopped turning the computer off when I follow proper procedure, or even Woody's suggested "Quick Shutdown" shortcut. I have to wait for the "Windows is closing" screen, I know an ATX machine won't give me the "It is now safe to turn off your computer" screen, so I wait a while, hum and pretend to be a cloud, and finally switch the darn thing off myself. Tell me where to look, please (including books - see my signature).

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Won't close down (XP Home SR-1 Spanish)

    Note: This feature must be supported by the computer's BIOS. Check your BIOS settings first - is it enabled.

    Open your registry and find the key
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionWinlogon

    Create a new string value, or modify the existing value, called PowerdownAfterShutdown and set it to "1" to power off the computer at shutdown, or "0" to reboot.

    Restart Windows for the change to take effect.

    (Source: http://www.winguides.com/registry/display.php/251/)

  3. #3
    Lounger
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    Re: Won't close down (XP Home SR-1 Spanish)

    Good tip, but it didn't work :-( although the original value _was_ 0 and value 1 seems to have stuck (I just checked).

    Curiouser and curiouser - I was able to power down last night from a pristine user account I set up for my significant other (nothing installed, no admin privileges). So it isn't the motherboard and I guess the problem lies with my own user settings. Where can I start looking? And by the way, is creating a System Restore Point a good way to back up the Registry, or should I back it up separately for good measure?

    MTIA

  4. #4
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Won't close down (XP Home SR-1 Spanish)

    My guess is that you have a service or program that isn't shutting itself down properly. You can force Windows to pull the plug on non-responding programs at shutdown, but it masks the problem rather than solving it. The fact that your pristine user account shuts down properly supports this notion.

    To see what services are running while you are logged on, click on Start and then Run and enter SERVICES.MSC in the dialog box. You can click on the column headings to sort them by name, status, etc. Also, look at the Event Viewer (Start - Run - eventvwr.msc) and see if it yields any clues, anything in <font color=red>Red</font color=red> may need to be addressed.

    If you want to add the key to the registry that forces this behavior, open the registry editor (Start - Run - Regedit) and navigate to the following key:
    <UL><LI>SYSTEMCurrentControlSetControl[/list]Add an entry, type REG_SZ, that reads WaitToKillServiceTimeout. The time is in milliseconds, the default is 20,000 (20 seconds). You can reduce this incrementally and see if it helps, but it's still better to try and determine what is hosing things up. (For more information from Microsoft, check out 146092: How to Increase Shutdown Time for Services to Close Properly.)

    As far as backing up the registry, I prefer to use the System State backup from the Backup tool that is included with Windows. System Restore points will disappear as space is consumed and time passes, so it's always a good idea to keep a known good copy around somewhere.

    HTH,
    -Mark

  5. #5
    Lounger
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    Re: Won't close down (XP Home SR-1 Spanish)

    Okay, Microsoft Fax and True Vector Engine seem to be the main culprits, in a sort of tandem. I blocked Microsoft Fax from accessing the Internet - can't see why it should, anyway - and "True Vector Engine" is part of ZoneAlarm.

    If I uninstall ZoneAlarm Pro (just paid for), I have a choice of installing XP's own firewall (I believe I omitted installation because I intended to keep ZoneAlarm and Steve Gibson was not very encouraging re the MS firewall) or else activating Panda Antivirus' new built-in firewall (no specific reviews read so far). What about MS Fax? Any advice there, other than not to go for it? eFax is no good to me, no local number.

  6. #6
    Lounger
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    Re: Won't close down (XP Home SR-1 Spanish)

    Hi Mark,
    I seem to have narrowed this down to Zone Alarm. I'll try to get some support from them. Thanks.

    As for backing up the Registry, I can find no way to do this, as I'm running WinXP Home which doesn't include the backup utility.

    Still, Drive Image backing up to CD-ROMs occasionally should do the trick for longer-term concerns, whereas short-term concerns ought to be covered by the three-week record of system restore points, right?

    Now for a batch file to back up frequently-changing data files that have to be in C: (obscure but essential programs) to my Documents partition.

  7. #7
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Won't close down (XP Home SR-1 Spanish)

    As for ZA, try uninstalling it and then reinstalling first. That's always a good way to try and fix things without waiting on tech support.

    Backups in Home are severely crippled. I believe the utility is there on the CD-ROM and just not installed. Search the XP forums and you'll see a lot of threads and alternatives on this issue. System Restore does not back up documents - only key operating system files, so if it's document protection you need, it won't cut the mustard (so to speak). WinZip's command-line utility might be an alternative for you, though - worth checking into if you feel comfortable writing batch files.
    -Mark

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